Friday, February 13, 2009

KJ, It’s a matter of perception… Malaysiakini

In the ongoing debate about KJ, two things stirred my interest. (a) the perception that because KJ is not liked by TDM and (b) perception that KJ is all the obnoxious things.

The two perceptions combined contribute to the list of minus points against KJ. But is perception more important than reality?

It is true that politics is largely about perception. Thus, if I understand this proposition, then there is no need to be actually religious but only to appear religious. Religiosity is all about perception. The purist when hearing this, insists and violently so sometimes, that we must go beyond things as they appear. Ah ha- when it comes to something they identify with, they beseech us to see the reality of things. In other words go beyond just sensory/visual perception.

The funny thing is, when it comes to KJ, external perception is sufficient and necessary to form an unchanging opinion. In other words, it is all right to be hypocritical. I ask again, why the inconsistent standard? In that case, if perception is more important that reality, I will sell you a tree trunk across the small river as a bridge!. After all, perception is all that matters.

Readers who read my articles will see that my style and my line of arguments are different from the bloggers forming a united front for KJ. They are called setiakawan I believed. This difference in style is expected because we arrived at our support for KJ independently of each other. One big difference I have is, while most of them are quite open with their quarrel with TDM, I do not broach that subject. That's because I have a very personal and deep-seated admiration for TDM. In one blog, I have even said that TDM is the best PM we have ever had. That belief will never change.

Which brings me nicely into the issue I want to raise. One commentator to my article says he has nothing against KJ- its just that TDM has got nasty things to say about KJ. To him, that must be right. In other words, Tun's perception of KJ is more important than the issue at hand.

To me this is a flawed method to employ when choosing the right leader for UMNO youth. The choice of KP UMNO becomes a function of the personal preference of TDM. Personal perceptions are ephemeral. We cannot base our decision of leadership on things ephemeral can we? Because, in a brief moment, a personal perception can change . TDM used to like DS Najib. He has now expressed negative reservations on DS Najib. Shall we then use, TDM's personal likes and dislikes to withdraw our support to DS Najib? TDM now likes TR Hamzah. Shall we all rise together and elect TR Hamzah- which coincidentally is my choice as the more right leader for UMNO and Malaysia?

Personal assessment is important but not to the extent of dismissing other objective rationale. A personalised perception has its limits. It is limited to the person's personal knowledge of the candidate, it is limited to only those within the circle and finally it limits our choice of leadership only to those perceived by the perceptor as one who can be a leader. This reliance and dependence on one person's opinion which by nature are ephemeral, cannot be a sustainable principle to choose a leader.

Those trenchant Molotov cocktail throwers in the form of anti KJ troops can say whatever they liked; but I am convinced that I have exposed the hypocrisy of using different standards where uniformity and consistency are demanded. The reality is, people manipulate perception to confirm the reality beneficial to their interests.

At this point in time( at 33/34 years of age?), KJ has studied political leaders and has worked hard at refashioning himself so that he might become one. For many of the Pemuda delegates, KJ is not only a powerful leader but a deeply charismatic one, who inspires them by evoking, time and again, the meaning and majesty of their mission. We may find his antics at leading demonstrations at the American Embassy, his `I come to bury Anwar' in Permatang Pauh, his recent speech in Ipoh, laughable but for the Pemudas, this is the kind of leader they know is right for UMNO.

You, the perwakilan pemuda must now realise that KJ is your Ketua Pemuda who knows how to use power. If he has used it before by leveraging on the PM, that shows he knows how to use power. By committing errors in judgement along the way, he will wise up and that is good for Pemuda. Better him than another who allows power to get into his head and eventually lost a bloody state. Better him than the other fellow whose ability to stir up passion is like expecting the lempeng kelapa to rise up.

Ask yourselves, what is the state of UMNO now? These are not normal times for UMNO. It has lost 5 states and one of them used to be led by the broom presenter who now wants to become your ketua. The other, a person mouthing change but does nothing of substance. UMNO has lost several by-elections, the leadership is in an imbroglio and it is rudderless. We are in the worse of calamities. These times are suited more for KJ; the greater the insecurity and despair, the more seductive his veiled scapegoating, his absolutism, and his messianism would become.

KJ plays by his own rules. By being engaging and colourful and dynamic--by staging bravura performances--he usually gets away with it on matters large and small. KJ has an enormous advantage in the political arena. He is free to say and do what he pleases, affording himself the kind of freewheeling latitude others can only fantasize about. That license goes unchecked, in large part, because what he does defies our most fundamental assumptions: one simply does not expect to find so consummate a young politician serving as ketua Pemuda UMNO. That offends many of us accustomed to business as usual. We have been accustomed to the placid personality and the visionless character whose only ambition is to once again become MB.


Anonymous said...

Bangkai gajah....kalau nak ditutup....lama2 berbau juga...


Anonymous said...

Legasi KJ dan Pak Lah sudah di tolak oleh rakyat.. lihat sahaja isu sebelum PRU12.. (Kalau baca la) tapi kalau menyokong pemimpin lain pulak persepsi nya.. salah ker semua ok..

sekarang rakyat sokong pemimpin , tapi tegur gak pemimpin yang buat salah...

tapi Pak Lah dgn KJ mana boleh tegur... salah ker semua ok..kata balaci nya laa